Around 60% of US property, contract, and tort trials are related to personal injury claims. What is the most common type of personal injury case? That honor goes to car accidents, which make up 52% of all personal injury claims.
Victims of accidents file thousands of personal injury lawsuits every year. If you recently got injured in an accident that was not your fault, you may wonder: do I have grounds to file a personal injury claim?
In this guide, we want to help you determine just that. We rounded up the top five most obvious signs that you have a personal injury claim on your hands and compiled them here for your convenience. Keep reading to learn more.
5 Signs You Need to File a Personal Injury Case
The most common types of personal injury cases are:
- Car and trucking accidents
- Premises liability claims
- Product liability claims
- Medical malpractice
- Dog bites and animal attacks
- Wrongful death
- Workplace injury
50% of personal injury victims receive up to $24,000 in compensation. Medical malpractice and product liability claims offer the potential for even higher settlements, with average awards of $679,000 and $748,000, respectively.
And the great thing about personal injury cases is that lawyers work on contingency fees. That means you do not have to pay for legal representation unless you win.
If you do win, you pay your lawyer from your settlement award. You literally have nothing to lose. So, here are the top five signs that you need to call a personal injury lawyer near you ASAP.
1. You Obtained an Injury in an Accident
Personal injury lawsuits protect victims who receive injuries or property loss in an accident. The accident must have happened due to someone else's negligence to qualify under personal injury law, also known as tort law.
The person who files the claim is the one who obtained the injury. The person who files the claim is the plaintiff. The person who caused the accident and the subsequent injury is the defendant.
Personal injury plaintiffs can file against insurance companies or individuals. If the plaintiff wins the case, the judge can award them compensation for any expenses they incurred because of the injury.
2. You Weren't At Fault for the Accident
You can not file a claim for just any accident in which you're injured. To fall under the purview of personal injury, the at-fault party must have caused the accident due to negligence or intent.
In some states, the share of fault matters in certain accidents (e.g., car wrecks. You can still file a claim if you're partially at fault. As long as your share of the fault is less than 50%, you can recover compensation.
In other states, you can not file a car accident personal injury claim against the negligent party if you were even 1% at fault. Arkansas, Florida, Massachusetts, New York, Texas, and Washington are just a few of the states with this law.
3. Your Injuries Required Medical Attention
Plaintiffs can not file personal injury claims for cuts and scrapes. You can only file a claim if your injury is significant enough to require medical attention. It is critical to obtain documentation from your doctor if this is the case for you.
In a personal injury lawsuit, you can recover damages for your medical bills. But first, you or your personal injury attorney must prove the accident caused the injury for which you received care.
You can also receive compensation for non-physical injuries. For example, say you develop a mental health disorder from a TBI you received in a car crash that wasn't your fault. You can get compensated for your cognitive difficulties.
4. Your Injuries Required Days Missed from Work
Many accident injuries require victims to stay at home to recover. They may not be able to work while recovering. This may result in lost wages from missed work days.
In some cases, injuries are so severe that they impair victims from working for the rest of their lives. This can be especially troublesome for people who are the primary breadwinner of their families.
Personal injury cases can also win compensation for lost income. You can receive a settlement for the wages you lost during recovery. You can even win amounts for future loss of earning potential.
5. Your Accident Occurred Within the Statute of Limitations
In the legal world, a statute of limitations is the maximum amount of time a plaintiff has to file their case. If the plaintiff does not file the claim within the statute of limitations, they must forfeit their right to take legal action.
For personal injury cases, the clock starts ticking as soon as the accident that caused your injury occurs. Then, you must file your claim within the statute of limitations of your jurisdiction.
The statute of limitations for personal injury cases varies by state. Most states apply a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims. Maine and North Dakota impose the most flexible deadline of up to six years.
Looking for More Legal Advice?
Getting injured in an accident caused by someone else's negligence is no small thing. You deserve compensation for your pain and suffering. That is why you should file a personal injury case if your case meets the criteria listed above.
Do you have any more legal questions you need answers to? You have come to the right place. We post new articles just like this one every single day, so keep checking back for more legal advice.